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The World Food Programme Awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize
The winners of the 2020 Nobel Prizes were announced in early October, highlighted by the United Nation’s World Food Programme winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The awards, which are based out of Norway and Sweden, have been a fixture o n the global scene since the early 1900s. Now, six awards are given out annually : Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine, Literature, Peace, and Economic Sciences. These awards are seen as among the highest honors achievable in the world today.
This year’s Peace Prize went to the World Food Programme, a UN initiative. It was given the prize due to its efforts to combat a surge in global hunger spurred by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Developing countries around the world have experienced extreme food shortages following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, including in countries such as Kenya and Colombia. Some experts estimate that up to 265 million people will face acute hunger by the end of the year.
“In the face of the pandemic, the World Food Programme has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said. The choice also came after United States President Donald Trump pulled support from the organization.
Other winners included three scientists ― Sir Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez―who landed the Nobel Prize for Physics thanks to their research on black holes , including the discovery of a supermassive black hole at the center of our universe. The Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences , meanwhile, was awarded to the pair of Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson. The American duo were recognized for their contributions to auction theory,
referring to a branch of economic theory related to how people behave during an auction.
‟This years Laureates in Economic Sciences started out with fundamental theory and later used their result s in practical applications, which have spread globally. Their discoveries are of great benefit to society, Peter Fredriksson, chair of the prize committee, said.
The prize for Literature was given to another American, poet Louise Glück. Her work often focuses on the intricacies and challenges of family life, and the Nobel Committee noted how her use of minimalistic language was one of her strongest abilities as an artist.
The award for Chemistry went to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their work on the development of Crispr-Cas9, a method for genome editing. The award for Physiology or Medicine, meanwhile, was awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice, for their discovery of the virus that causes Hepatitis C.
While the Noble Prize still receives much media attention, general interest in the awards has waned over the years. They continue to try to gain more attention, but some experts worry that it doesn’t have the same relevance as it once did.
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Key Words and Expressions
- winner — someone who wins games and competitions
- announce — to make a public statement
- give out — to distribute something to other people
- honor (noun) — high respect or public esteem
- food shortage — extreme scarcity of food
- land (verb) — to successfully gain something that many people want but difficult to get
- contribution to — support or effort to make something successful
- discovery — the action or process of discovering fact, place, object etc.
- minimalistic — using the smallest range of materials, colors, words, etc.
- wane — to gradually decrease in strength or influence
Reading Comprehension Test
- How many awards does the Nobel Prize committee give out annually?
- What did the Nobel winners in Physics study?
a. Black holes.
b. Auction theory.
c. Global hunger.
d. Hepatitis C.
- Which of the following is true?
a. U.S. President Donald Trump added more support to the UN Food Programme.
b. Louise Glück was celebrated for her long books.
c. The Chemistry award went to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna.
d. The Nobel Prizes have never been more popular than they are now.
- Why did the UN Food Programme win the Nobel Peace Prize?
- What is a problem the Nobel Prizes face?